Monday, May 05, 2008

Dear Princess...

Okay, I shouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did, that moment when you shouted at me about what a bitch I am, in front of the vice principal.

But I did.

And I shouldn't enjoy the news that you'll be a freshman again next year.

But I do.

Just not for the reasons you'd suspect.
See, you're a beautiful, smart, talented upper middle-class kid from the suburbs, from a nice family that dotes on you. You're not abused or neglected. So, why are you like this? Not because you have some dark tragedy in your life. No, the real tragedy is that nobody ever said 'No' to you before. You failed nearly every class last year, and were promoted to 9th grade anyway. Despite your Fs and school suspensions, you still have a cell phone and an ipod and a car.

You've been given chance after chance after chance, and what have you done with it? You're intelligent, and have only managed to pass choir and PE. You've gotten over two dozen office referrals this year. Many of these were for bullying other students. Nearly a third were for swearing at your teachers when they asked you to settle down and stop being so disruptive, and cussing out substitutes and office staff: All people who were just doing their job.

Now here's a newsflash: At the end of the day, I get in my car, and drive home. I sleep well. We all do, we "losers" with our degrees, our jobs, our friends and our families.

And you, well, you'll be a freshman again next year. That fact is fundamentally unchangeble. No amount of summer school will save you. Your friends will be moving to another school, and you'll still be here. Hopefully, you'll learn something from this very painful lesson. Hopefully, that "NO" will be meaningful enough for you to make some changes. We'll see.

Oh, and one more thing: if and when you reach "Step 8," don't pick me. I'm not interested.

Oh wait, one more thing:



  1. I almost hate to pee on your parade Misty but for all you know that girl's Dad climbs in her bed every night and clamps his hand down on her hoo-ha. That kind of self sabotage comes from somewhere.

    - 21stCM, former self-sabotager and daughter of an alcoholic

  2. I'm fairly certain that isn't he issue here; I'm pretty familiar with symptoms of abuse of several types. But I appreciate your insight. I'm also a former self-sabotager, in my case for no good reason other than I was a drama queen who finally got over myself after digging myself into a very, big hole.

  3. Excellent! Some people need to hit rock bottom before they wise-up and stop being such a-holes. Hopefully this is as low as she will ever have to get.

  4. When it seems easier to give in than to say no to my daughter, I will remember this post.

  5. Saying no is hard. It's especially hard when you're faced with a red-faced, crying child swearing that they'll hate you forever, and in all probability, many of their friends parents are saying, "yes." I tend toward the wishy-washy myself; thank goodness for Sweet Baboo.

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  7. I agree-no child just acts that way for nothin' Hopefully mom and dad have enough sense to see their child is in trouble and get her help!

  8. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Yep, saying no is hard.

    There are some things I'm strict about with our boys, and other things, not so much...same with my husband. They know who to ask first depending on the subject. Amazing, though, when we say no it seems we are the ONLY parents out there who say no...well,according to our kids ;)

  9. She passed P.E.???
    Amazing in itself.

  10. You need to warn me when you post stuff like this. I'm still pursing the teaching avenue and you are scaring the stuffing out of me... yikes

  11. I feel your pain sister...
    I always have to smile when kids "earn" their failing grades...
    I teach high school math too, so I follow your posts with great interest! (well, that and the tri stuff too... you are amazing by the way...)

  12. As a school physical therapist... I am very glad she passed PE. Means one less IEP I would have to attend. :-) Just kidding. Hang in there, year's almost over.

  13. Hopefully this kid will finally learn a life lesson, while she still has time, eventually her antics might but her in a different type jail then she sees school to be. Frankly I'm glad to know there are still schools that fail children who receive failing grades. I dated a guy who's daughter was passed to 9th grade and all she had were straight F's -WTF? That is just setting a child up for failure - sadly she will be a statistic someday.

  14. Thought of this today...she can make a career out of the shower.
    Sorry...had to !
    (I was with middle school kids all day....bblblblblblblb! That's a raspberry type sound!)

  15. I know this time of year is absolutley torcher(?) for teachers. My mom taught 5th grade special ed for 20+ years.... (yes this makes me an expert! ha!)

    Anyway - hang in there - school is almost out!

    Yes I tend to think some horrible thing has happened to this girl... but the truth is she may well be just a spoiled rotten kid that is about to find out that doing nothing cuz' you can has consequences! May she enjoy her freshman year more fully the second time around!

    Take care.


  16. sad story really. on all fronts. her folks probably never say no and give her what ever she wants just so they don't have to deal with her. hence the total lack of respect for others as well as herself. After all, if she didn't have a car - they would have to drive her. The cell phone and ipod keep her busy no doubt so that they don't have to spend any other quality time with her. when she's grown, they'll blame her for the lack of time because she was always too busy for them. naturally, she's looking for attention, even if it is the negative sort. kids need boundaries.good for you for not letting her win. hopefully she takes something useful from it.

  17. "No, the real tragedy is that nobody ever said 'No' to you before."

    Truer words have never been spoken. The school is probably giving her the biggest gift of her life. She may be able to see that in 20-25 years.

    Parents who are their children's "friends" are really neither.

  18. Rock on girlfriend!!


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